Wales fall below England and France

Date published: June 25 2012

England have climbed above Wales in the IRB World Rankings despite not winning a Test in their three-match series against South Africa.

England have moved above Wales to fourth in the latest World Rankings, despite not winning a Test in their three-match series with the Boks.

France sit only six-hundredths of a ranking point behind the English, moving up from seventh thanks to their 49-10 success in Tucumán.

Defeat leaves Argentina eighth, which is relevant looking ahead to the next Rugby World Cup. At the end of 2012, the IRB World Rankings will be used to determine the seeding for the 12 sides who have already qualified for the 2015 showpiece.

The sides will be seeded in three bands, meaning 1-4 in the world (plus 5-8 and 9-12) will be guaranteed separate pools.

England's return to fourth might provide some relief at Twickenham, but Argentina, having risen to sixth during the June Test window, are in a precarious spot.

Fall to ninth, for instance, and they would be in the same pool as two big hitters; on current standings that could be the All Blacks and France.

New Zealand, Australia and South Africa remain the top three sides in the world, but the flurry of Test activity means every side from fourth to twelfth changes position.

Ireland, blown away 60-0 by the All Blacks, rise one to eighth thanks to events around them, while the Welsh, having lost to Australia by the narrowest of margins, drop two to sixth.

Scotland put a disappointing Six Nations campaign behind them to outdo their touring European counterparts with a three from three record.

Their one-point win over Samoa in Apia at the weekend translates to a one-place rise in the standings to ninth – having started the month twelfth – and relegates their opposition one spot to tenth.

Fiji's 29-17 victory over Tonga secured second place in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup and shunted their opponents down one place to twelfth in the world.

Canada – one ahead of fourteenth-placed Fiji – consolidated their position by beating Georgia handsomely 31-12 in British Columbia. Wins by 16 points or more attract greater credit so Canada's tally goes up by more than half a ranking point.

IRB World Rankings
(Previous position bracketed)

1(1) New Zealand 91.43
2(2) Australia 87.05
3(3) South Africa 84.87
4(5) England 83.09
5(7) France 83.03
6(4) Wales 82.26
7(8) Ireland 79.85
8(6) Argentina 79.25
9(10) Scotland 77.97
10(9) Samoa 76.23
11(12) Italy 76.03
12(11) Tonga 74.79
13(13) Canada 72.30
14(14) Fiji 70.60
15(15) Georgia 67.95

With thanks to the IRB